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Old October 13, 2019   #16
bower
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I am trying something different this year for mulching the garlic. Every year, finding mulch is a big project that sends me far afield. Sometimes I don't get enough! Some years I had lots of kelp but that hasn't been the case for several years now, although I have a little. So instead I looked around the perennial garden for something that I could use without filling my beds with seeds.


I found a couple of candidates. Agrimony is very leafy, and the seeds are on tall spires that rise above the plant. So it's easy to clip off the seeds, then use the rest as mulch. One type of goldenrod (a weed at the back of the garden) is quite leafy and also has limited seeding/flowering parts at the top which can be clipped off, then clip the plants for mulching. I also am eyeing the geranium, which is certainly leafy and doesn't produce a lot of seeds.


I'm trying out the agrimony. If it works, I could plant rows to use as mulch for new garlic beds. No more driving around after mulch (okay maybe some kelp treats will still be worth it! )
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File Type: jpg agrimony-leafy.jpg (189.3 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg agrimony-seed-snipped.jpg (263.6 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg agrimony-piled-on.jpg (163.4 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg newgarlicbed-mulched.jpg (184.2 KB, 71 views)
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Old October 14, 2019   #17
GrowingCoastal
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One time visiting youtube I came upon a title that made me go hmmm. 'Chop and Drop'. Sounds like me, I thought. And yes, it was someone in Georgia, I think, who does just as the title says. When I prune things in my shrubby hedges I then cut or chip trimmings with mower and leave it under the plants as mulch. I never ever add any fertilizer and find that what is under the mulch is crumbly worm castings. No weeds either.

Another Sunday morning I heard a horticultural teacher, master gardener, from UBC say that bare soil is dead soil giving me even more incentive to carry on. He said to leave some dead plants for bird nesting material and that why would we assume that mother nature doesn't know what she is doing when plants drop leaves and branches around themselves. That's what I thought, too, after watching it go on for years.



Well
The birds and insects are happy in the hedges. Neighours who are just beginning their garden adventures at their new place remarked at how much cooler my yard is compared to theirs down the street in the heat of summer and I know that it is warmer on cold days with the harsh winds kept out.


I've always used what is handy to mulch with but I have started to use pine tree beetle killed pine chips for the tomato growing area and even on top of tomato pots last summer. Worked well.
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Old October 15, 2019   #18
Worth1
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Comments this evening.
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Old October 15, 2019   #19
bower
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@Coastal, too true! The soil under years of leaves at my bro's place is incredible.
The problem I have here is the dominance of spruce and var. Few deciduous trees, anything like those couple of birches in the pic gets blown far and wide, you can't find leaves to rake. I'm starting to have a few leaves in my driveway now, but it wouldn't mulch the area of my garlic beds. And the moose keep browsing down my little deciduous trees and shrubs, leaving nothing to chop and drop. So I have to look to the smaller vegetation, which has managed to be successful here and unmowed by moose and hares.
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Old October 15, 2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
They have put people in tiny little light weight cars that have one hell of a hard time pushing the air out of the way to keep at speed.

And most of all what I see here is too many people running around in these big 4 wheel drive 4 door giant wheeled Blacktop Queen trucks.
They never get off road and used for joy rides for the most part.
When a "big 4 wheel drive 4 door giant wheeled Blacktop Queen truck" collides with a "tiny little light weight car".... well, I know which vehicle I'd rather be in.
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Old October 15, 2019   #21
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Just wanted to start a discussion about carbon capture/ land management practices, as I am looking hard at my own place and thinking about what I should do for best management going forward.
Amend your soil with charcoal. It's the ultimate carbon capture and it also improves the soil..... look up 'terra preta'.
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Old October 15, 2019   #22
bower
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Amend your soil with charcoal. It's the ultimate carbon capture and it also improves the soil..... look up 'terra preta'.
Thanks, but it's not as practical for short season cold north where I am, as it is in the amazon. Very different soil and very different wood here. Very slow nutrient cycling. We can't grow any food by slowing it down in the vegetable bed. And I don't have a surplus of N ferts to "charge" charcoal either, which afaik is absolutely necessary for it to be beneficial in crop land.

Flaming the bottom of your spruce fence posts is a good idea here, to make them last even longer (the spruce is very durable anyway.) I may do that.
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Old October 15, 2019   #23
Worth1
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When a "big 4 wheel drive 4 door giant wheeled Blacktop Queen truck" collides with a "tiny little light weight car".... well, I know which vehicle I'd rather be in.
I have the mid sized black top queen pick up truck but at least I use it.

As for the later I sad earlier.
The sticks that fall to the ground in my yard I burn.
They have dropped due to stem girdling beetles.
These sticks have eggs in them.

Many others just get chopped up and left where they may be from the mower.
Leaves are the same thing.
Some get swept up and pushed into a pile for a bed I have at end end of the driveway.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #24
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So here's a pic of my roadside allium chaff/tomato plant compost/hugel. There are branches at the bottom and an old log across the back. Garlic tops and trimmings went in earlier with a bag of commercial compost over it. It was not really enough to cover and there's no soil handy here to use. Then finally all the shallot chaff, final garlic trims went in and covered with some weeds and dirt, a bag of the household scraps and my ten chopped down tomato plants and their roots. It still needs more dirt but that will have to wait for opportunity.



I've come to an acceptance that wild animals are a part of action in my forest garden system. Animals are going to eat my compost scraps and turn them into manure. So be it. I would rather that that the animals be squirrels and bunnies and even shrews, little mice or voles. I thought about fencing the compost to keep out rats. I have one like it and am still watching for signs, will I have to change my habits for the winter to discourage the pest. Meanwhile I spotted this brand new mousehole just next to the hugel beginnings. You can't keep nature out of the woods. As long as they don't come in my house, I accept that they play their role in making me some earth carbon.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #25
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Those frolicking moose brothers also left manure all over the place after feasting on the herbs and shrubbery. Worst thing about moose they always do it in the path. They will walk through your garden beds leaving them gouged with hoofprints, but never let anything fall unless it is in the road. Unlike hares and even grouse will tend to give it back right where they took it from, convenient to the soil building project. Anyway I must pick up after moose if I don't want to walk in it, so I went around with a bucket and loaded it all into my end of summer compost where it won't go to waste.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #26
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Our whitetail deer are inconsiderate like your moose. Birds, on the other hand, are lovely. Perched on the top of the deer fence, or on the tomato cages, they put it right where I want it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #27
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Yes, the birds love a rail to perch on! I built a rail over my Mom's tomato bed to tie them on, and they would sit there and foliar feed em. I'm sure that's how she got such big tomatoes.
They like my 'moose rails' too.
Robins are pretty thrilled about the garlic beds. They spend hours patrolling the rows and it's just wide enough for them to be comfortable on pest patrol down there. A little bit of well weeded ground is important for them, and they sure are worth it. But they like to work in pairs, so a rail for the lookout is icing on the cake... did I say icing?
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